Oh Bali, you cook pork, and you cook it well. There are so many signs around Jakarta at restaurants that say “no pork served” so it was nice to be on a Hindu island known for suckling pig, babi guling.
Ibu Oka‘s (Jalan Suweta – close to the Udub Palace) is a well-known babi guling restaurant. Anthony Bourdain stopped by during his Indonesia episode. We were lucky to see a full pig delivered while we were there.
The food was tasty, but my one complaint was the large amount of very spicy sauce poured on the pork. I wish the sauce had been on the side because it masked the flavor of the delicious meat a bit. We ordered combination platters which had sliced pork meat, blood sausage, crisp pork skin, and a pork fried fritter. For Rp 30,000 ($3.35), I recommend stopping by. The green bean salad that came with the pork was tasty. Earlier in the day we tasted a Balinese fern tip salad which was also tasty, for all the vegetarians out there.
Arak is an Indonesian liquor popular on Bali. According to Wikipedia it is “a sweet wine made from the coconut palm flower, or from brem, which is a wine made from black glutinous rice and coconut milk.” I ordered an arak cocktail with lime juice and soda water. Arak has a light burnt rice after taste. It was interesting to try. I wasn’t a huge fan, but I always think you should try local specialties.
In case you want to take some arak home for your friends:
All of the coffee I had in Bali was delicious. If you are looking for a terrific cappuccino and you find yourself on Jalan Monkey Forrest I recommend Arts Cafe. Bali kopi (Bali coffee) was a solid cup of Joe, be warned it will be silty. It was a good medium strength cup, Achenese coffee is some of the strongest in Indonesia, Balinese falls on the middle of the scale. One of the best cups of coffee during the trip came in a French press with vanilla bean, cardamon and cinnamon spices which blended with the coffee to produce a wonderful spiced flavor, stop by Three Monkeys Cafe for it.
Fish steam cooked in banana leaf and cone shaped rice (very popular), honey basil shrimp, and crispy duck at the Dirty Duck Diner, Bebek Bengil.
Duck is also a popular dish on Bali. I’m used to sweet glazed duck French-style, but the crisp duck was a nice change and very tasty.
I also had the best glass of watermelon juice that I’ve had so far, the view wasn’t bad either or the tempeh burger that accompanied the juice. Fruit juices and different sodas with fruit syrups are very popular in Indonesia because of the the large variety of fruits, but also because many people want non-alcoholic options.
Some chickens at our homestay. There were plenty of animals all over Bali, a nice change from Jakarta where a lot of the animals look sad and underfed.
A fish for the road? You never know when you need one:
These ducks may or may not have been our dinner:
A field full of ducks. We saw farmers herd them into a netted area as the sun went down.
With all the food we ate, it was good to be able to stroll around and walk it off.